Vegan Chocolate Mousse with Coconut Whipped Cream

My kids love “treats” and sometimes feel deprived of the junk filled diets of many of their peers, especially my daughter who has dairy and gluten intolerance.  Since she just finished her first round of state mandated testing, I thought a special after school snack was in order, so I decided to make them Vegan Chocolate Mousse with Coconut Whipped Cream.

It was my first time to make both, so I wanted to wait until I got the dual seal of approval before posting it to my blog.  They were so excited, especially My Cupcake, who squealed when she learned she could actually have whipped “cream”. 😀


This recipe is very easy and a crowd pleaser.


Vegan Chocolate Mousse

2 Ripe Avocados (Pits removed and use only the meat)

1/2 Cup Raw Cacao Powder *

1/2 Cup Pure Organic Maple Syrup**

1/2 Cup Almond Milk

2 Tsp Vanilla Extract



  • Puree/Blend until smooth.  I used my Blendtec blender so it took less than 30 seconds to blend it all.




  • Pour into ramekins and chill at least 1 hr or longer depending how firm you would like it.




* I used Navitas Raw Cacao Powder since it has so many extra  good goodies in it like: iron and magnesium, polyphenols, flavonols, theobromine, omega fatty acids and antiodxidants that are beneficial to our bodies.  But, it does give it a bit of a more dark chocolate, slightly bitter taste.  This recipe will work with any cacao powder you choose.*




**I chose organic maple syrup as our sweetener since it also provides beneficial minerals/vitamins like zinc, calcium, iron, potassium and manganese as well as containing anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties.**



Some modifications I will most likely do in the future are the following:

1.  Reduce the amount of raw cacao: think it may have been a bit too bitter for my son even though he said he liked it.  He prefers a more milk chocolate flavor while my daughter likes the more dark chocolate taste.

2.  Use vanilla bean instead of the vanilla extract

3.  Use my homemade almond milk instead of the store bought I had on hand.


Of course, chocolate mousse is not complete without some whipped “cream”.  But if you’re like my daughter and myself with a dairy intolerance, you can sometimes feel left out :(.  But, NEVER FEAR!!! Marci is here! 😀


Coconut Whipped Cream

1 Can Full Fat Organic (if it fits your budget) Coconut Milk

2 Tsp Sweetener of Choice

1/2 Tsp Vanilla Extract


  • Place can of coconut milk in fridge over night.  This separates the thick cream from the liquid.
  • Scoop out the thick cream.  Make sure not to scoop out any of the liquid.  Save the liquid for later use in smoothies, juices, etc
  • Whip up the thick cream until soft peaks form
  • Add in sweetener and vanilla extract.  Amount will vary depending on your sweetener and your tastes.
  • Whip again until fluffy
  • Top mousse and enjoy



**Leftovers will stay well in the fridge for numerous days.  Might firm up so just use a spoon to re-whip.  I used mine in my coffee this morning.**


Modification in future:

1.  Will use vanilla bean instead of vanilla extract


I think you will enjoy this nutritious yet delectable treat.  I know my children did!


IMG_7651 IMG_7648








Vanilla Almond Milk Recipe

My children love to help me cook, bake and create in the kitchen.  So, I used this interest to my advantage this morning and had my daughter assist me in making our almond milk.

Last night, I soaked 1 cup of almonds in water.  I soaked them for about 8 hours.  While I was making breakfast and our morning smoothie, I peeled off the skins off the almonds and rinsed them thoroughly.

Soaked and Peeled Almonds

Soaked and Peeled Almonds

My daughter enthusiastically dumped 1 cup of peeled almonds into the blender that was filled with 4.5 cups of filtered water.  

Blending Almonds and 4.5 cups of Water

Blending Almonds and 4.5 cups of Water

Once the almonds and water were blended once, my daughter added 2 organic, pitted dates to the blender.  Dates are a wonderful natural sweetener!

Adding 2 Pitted Dates

Adding 2 Pitted Dates

Once the dates were added, 2 vanilla beans were split and scraped into the blender.

Splitting the Vanilla Bean

Splitting the Vanilla Bean

The almond milk was blended once more and then strained through a nut bag while squeezing out the milk. 

Pouring milk into the nut bag

Pouring milk into the nut bag

Squeezing milk out of the bag

Squeezing milk out of the bag

Once the milk was all squeezed out and pulp discarded, the milk was poured into 2 Ball jars and sealed.

(Normally we would compost the pulp, but we are moving in the near future so we have to reduce our composting.)

Sealing the jars

Sealing the jars

The finished product

The finished product

**Many people also dehydrate the leftover almond pulp to make yummy goodness like almond flour.  We don’t have a dehydrator YET (hmmm…possible Christmas gift idea!)** 

Having children help in the kitchen is a great educational opportunity (enhances math and science skills while learning the importance of nutrition).  Also, the sense of accomplishment they achieve in creating something delicious is priceless!



Garlic Lemon Fish

While painting was getting done in the house and the children were still home from school last week, we drove to Houston to visit my parents.   My kids love their grandparents and it is always a grand adventure filled with tons of playing with grandma and grandpa and LOTS of yummy, decadent food (especially desserts-DOH!!!  Sugar coma for my children!)  

My dad requested that I make one of my signature dish and a favorite in our house for dinner one evening.  So, being the wonderful daughter that I am, I happily made this delicious fish recipe!

Garlic Lemon Fish


  • 4-6 fish filets
  • 3-5 garlic cloves
  • About 6 lemons
  • Butter
  • Olive Oil
  • Salt, pepper, herbs de provence, paprika
  1. Heat oven to 425
  2. Mince garlic
  3. Cut and juice lemons
  4. Melt about 1/2 stick of Butter (yep, it’s butter but that’s okay!)
  5. Saute minced garlic in olive oil until fragrant (about 30-45 secs–do this over a low to med heat).  Remove from heat
  6. Combine sauteed garlic with the melt butter, juice from lemons, 3 tbs olive oil
  7. Pat dry fish filets.  (To determine whether you should use wild caught vs farm raised fish, please visit Blue Ocean Institute)
  8. Place fish in baking dish coated with olive oil
  9. Pour lemon garlic butter over fish
  10. Season fish filets with herbs de provence, salt (I prefer Himalayan salt since sit also contains other minerals), pepper, paprika (smoked or sweet).
  11. Bake for roughly 25 minutes.  May need to bake longer if using frozen fish.

Garlic Lemon Fish

I like to cook brown rice while I am prepping and the fish is baking.  I will top the rice with the fish and some of the sauce.  I will serve alongside it a nice large leafy green salad loaded with veggies and my homemade dressing.   An excellent nutritionally complete meal!



Gluten Free Banana/Chocolate Chip Muffins

I like to lovingly refer to our household as “The Bubble”.  My husband is allergic to all poultry and egg yolk except when it is in baked goods.  My daughter is lactose intolerant and I have gluten and lactose intolerance.  So, meal planning and preparation is ALWAYS an adventure.

Since I am the one who mainly does the grocery shopping, meal planning and prep, I try to make my life as simple as possible and stick with foods you find in their natural state.  When we do need food items that are not naturally grown, I look for the least processed foods and try my hardest to stay away from gluten containing products.   So, it was in this vain that I found myself searching for some healthy snack and breakfast options.  In my quest, I stumbled across “Cooking for the Specific Carbohydrate Diet” by Erica Kerwien.  This book contains recipes that are sugar-free, gluten-free and grain-free.  I was stoked!!!

Since I have been sick the past few days I haven’t had the energy to cook or bake much.  However, my new cookbook was laying on the kitchen counter anticipating my return.  Yesterday, I had enough energy to use the Banana Bread recipe as a template for MY modified Gluten-Free Banana/Chocolate Chip Muffins.  Muffins are much more enjoyable to my young children than a loaf of bread.

Gluten Free Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins

Gluten Free Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins

The recipe in the book called for olive oil so I chose to use a Blood Orange Olive Oil that I purchased at my local specialty olive oil and balsamic vinegar store, Con’ Olio.  I knew this olive oil would give a nice citrus essence to the muffin.  I also added a handful of good quality dark chocolate chips and white chocolate chips to the batter since I knew my children would enjoy the surprise.

Gluten Free Banana/Chocolate Chip Muffins


3/4 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon sea salt

3/4 cup almond flour

1/4 cup coconut flour

2 tablespoons olive oil or any other type of cooking oil (I used blood orange olive oil)

3 eggs

2 very ripe bananas, mashed (about 1 cup)

1/4 cup honey (I used a local honey, Round Rock Honey)

Handful of white chocolate/dark chocolate chips (optional)

  1. Preheat Oven to 350°F/175°C.  Line muffin pan with paper liners or grease pan.
  2. Using a whisk (fork is a good stand in), blend “dry” ingredients (baking soda, salt and flours) in a medium mixing bowl.
  3. In a separate bowl, mix “wet” ingredients together (oil, eggs, mashed bananas, and honey).  Add the combined “wet” ingredients to the “dry” ingredients.  To make sure the batter is thoroughly blended, use an electric mixture.

    Combined Ingredients

    Combined Ingredients

  4. Stir in chocolate chips.
  5. Using a 1/4 cup measuring cup or a small ice cream scooper,  fill muffin cups to 1/2 to 2/3 full.  This recipe was enough to fill 10 cups of my muffin pan.  I filled the other 2 cups with water measured to the same level so that the muffins would evenly brown in the oven.
  6. Bake for 20 minutes, or until sides and top are browned and toothpick inserted in the middle of the muffins comes out clean.

    fresh from the oven

    fresh from the oven

  7. Let cool in the pan for 5 minutes and then transfer to cooling rack to finish cooling.



  8. To store, cover and refrigerate for up to a week (if they last that long) or freeze for up to a month

These muffins are great warmed up and topped with a little coconut butter, real butter, almond butter or even a drizzle of olive oil.  Serve with a warm cup of hot chocolate, tea or coffee and a side of fruit.  

My children loved them as their after school snack and again for breakfast this morning.



Homemade Almond Milk

My daughter and I have issues with regular dairy milk, so we usually substitute in coconut or unsweetened almond milk.  However, I want to minimize the additives  found in typical off the shelf almond milk so I decided to make my own this morning.

Almond Milk

  • Soak (Sprout) Raw Almonds in water 8-12 hours or overnight
  •  After soaking, rinse/drain almonds in colander under cold water

    Straining the soaked, raw almonds

    Straining the soaked, raw almonds

Working in Batches

  • Put 2 cups of filtered water and 1/2 cups of almonds in blender.
  • Optional: Add splash of Vanilla and sprinkle of stevia to sweeten
  • Blend 50-90 seconds until all almonds have been broken up and liquefied.  I used my Blendtec Blender
  • Pour almond milk either through strainer/sieve, nutmilk bag or cheesecloth into a glass jar that can be tightly sealed.  Since I only had a strainer/sieve on hand, that is what I used.
Pouring almond milk through sieve.  Residual pulp leftover

Pouring almond milk through sieve. Residual pulp leftover


  • Use a spatula to press any residual milk through sieve. You will have pulp leftover in strainer/sieve.  You can either use this pulp at later time to dehydrate to make cookies with or even blend further into a nut butter.  I put mine into my Earthmaker compost bin.
  • Repeat steps until all almonds have been used to make milk.
  • When jar is full, tightly close and place in refrigerator.  Use within 3-5 days.
(4) Pint and A Half containers of Homemade Almond Milk

(4) Pint and A Half containers of Homemade Almond Milk


  • Making Almond milk is 4:1 ratio Water to Almonds.
  • Make sure to use RAW organic (if possible) almonds.  Not salted or roasted
  • Filtered and, if possible, distilled water is best.
  • A nut milk bag is probably your best option of efficient milk extraction.  Can be reused-just wash in top rack of dishwasher.

I used this milk to make a chia pudding recipe which I will post later and a favorite smoothie recipe of mine for lunch:  Chocolate Covered Strawberry.  I could  truly taste the difference.  The smoothie was more delicious with homemade almond milk than using store bought.

Please let me know if you attempt to make your own almond milk and how you like it.

Marci’s Green Smoothie Recipe

Here’s a great Green Smoothie “starter”.  Make modifications to fit your dietary needs. Blending the greens in a high powered blender works best to minimize any chunks.  I use my Blendtec Total Blender.

Add extra water to thin out smoothie if it is too thick for your taste.  Also, if just starting with green smoothies, start with mix of 50/50 greens to fruit.  Gradually decrease amount of fruit and increase greens.

Step 1:  Blend the following for about 60 seconds until smooth

  • Put 2 Cups Filtered Water into BlendTec Total Blender
  • Small Amount Stevia
  • Juice of  1/4 Whole Lemon
  • Add 2 cups combo of Organic Spinach/Kale (or any other greens like chard, collard, purple kale)

Step 2:  Add the following to blender and blend again

  • 1 Banana
  • 1 Small organic apple
  • 1 Cup organic frozen berries (masks the color)*
  • 2 Tbs chia seeds
  • Couple ice cubes

*You can substitute any fruit in.*

Marci's Green Smoothie

Marci’s Green Smoothie

A Blender’s Sad Tale

As my friends and family are aware, I am a huge proponent of smoothies.  They are a great way to get in your macronutrients for the day.  So, I usually start off my family’s day with a healthy, protein packed, nutrient dense smoothie for breakfast and sometimes usually one for lunch.

To preface, I am notoriously known for destroying anything electronic—think laptops, iPhones, garage door openers, cameras.  You get the picture.  Blenders are no different for me, I use them so much that I have burned out motors of lower end models within months and a mid range model in less than a year so several years ago I decided to purchase my first higher end model, a Vitamix.  After a year of use and dissatisfied with its performance for my needs, I decided to get a Blendtec Total Blender.  Since October 6, 2011, I have had a daily, fulfilling passionate relationship with that blender.

This past Sunday was no different except for THE EXPLOSION that happened on my counter.  I was in the process of destroying making a typical smoothie (you can find the recipe here) in my Blendtec blender (my life’s true love) when all of a sudden I heard a gurgling sound and then saw black plastic pieces shooting out from underneath the blender container.  Since I stay calm panic in these kinds of situations,  I immediately turned off the motor and  yelled for my husband to come help me.  Surprisingly, no liquid was leaking out from the bottom of the container.  After using our investigative skills, we determined the seal had  loosened and the strength of the motor base chewed into the container and seal.

After 1058 uses, first Blentec Total Blender container is destroyed

After 1058 uses, first Blentec Total Blender container is destroyed

For those of you not familiar with these higher end blenders, they have a high horsepower to make sure to grind up all those big leafy veggies, fruits, nuts within seconds.  After 1158 uses, I had finally used up my blender container-such a SAD, SAD day.

Seeing my distress, my AWESOME husband immediately got onto and ordered me another Blendtec Total Blender container and the Blendtec Wildside container.  However, I would have to wait until Wednesday, today, to receive it.  WHAT?!!!!  Smoothies are truly an integral part of our clean eating lifestyle so I didn’t know how I would manage.  Thankfully, I had a backup plan.

Orange, Carrot, Apple Juice made with Breville Juice Fountain

Orange, Carrot, Apple Juice made with Breville Juice Fountain

I decided to use my outstanding Breville Juice Fountain every morning for a nutritious juice for the family before work and school.

Although we ordered new containers, I did know that my blender was still covered under the AMAZING warranty Blendtec provides, but I had to wait until Monday to call-again, sadness.

When you experience a problem with an item you invested A LOT of money in, the customer service experience can really make or break your future relationship with the company.   I have to say that my experience solidified my relationship with Blendtec products.  As soon as customer service opened on Monday, I called.  In less than 5 minutes on the phone with a very friendly Blendtec customer service representative, I had a new container sent to me free of charge.   She also reassured me that the motor was perfectly fine and my replacement container would be here within 3-5 business days!!! HOORAY!!!

I momentarily contemplated if I should cancel my order, but I decided against it–it’s much better to have 3 containers to use!  So, today my containers from Amazon should arrive and I am counting down the minutes I can blend again!

Dairy Free Pineapple Coconut Smoothie

We have a great local coffee place that makes these outstanding all fruit pineapple coconut smoothies but my wallet needs a break.

Because my daughter needs to be dairy free, I decided to make my own dairy free version.  

Here is the winning recipe that accompanied my children’s dinner this evening.  Children mentioned that it tasted even better than the local coffeehouse’s version-Win!!!

Dairy Free Pineapple Coconut Smoothie

Dairy Free Pineapple Coconut Smoothie

1 Can Organic Coconut Milk

1 Small Banana (optional)

2 Cups Frozen Pineapple (if using fresh pineapple, use less coconut milk)

1/4 Cup Dehydrated, Shredded, Unsweetened Coconut

2 Tbs Chia Seed

Raw Turbinado Sugar (optional and to taste)

Place  all ingredients in order listed.  Fill blender with ice.  Blend.

Strawberry Limeade Slushie Recipe

Strawberry Limeade Slushie Recipe

Who hasn’t gone to their local fast food joint and purchased one of those delectable high calorie slushies?  I know I have and my children particularly enjoy them.  However, those “fruit” slushes are loaded with sugar, artificial food coloring, calories and high fructose corn syrup (HCFS).  Do YOU REALLY  want your child bouncing off the car walls or wasting your daily caloric allotment on that drink?  I know I don’t, so yesterday I came up with my healthier version of a Strawberry Limeade as part of my children’s after school snack.

Strawberry Limeade Slushie

Slice Enough Limes to make at least 6 ounces of juice when squeezed


Pour the Juice into your favorite blender- Mine is the Blendtec

Add 4-6 ounces water

Toss in a HANDFUL of either fresh or frozen strawberries.  Preferably organic.  I use frozen since I can reduce the amount of ice I need and because strawberries are not grown locally year round.

Add Stevia or Turbinado Sugar to taste


Fill blender with Ice

Enjoy the puckering taste of limes and strawberries and hear the delighted squeals!


Chocolate Covered Strawberry Smoothie

According to research and Navitas’ website, “Cacao has been consumed for its invigorating and healthy properties for generations in Mexican, Central and South American cultures. Cacao powder is one of the richest sources of immune-boosting antioxidants found in nature. It also provides important minerals including magnesium and iron. Separated from the oily cacao butter, cacao powder is also a concentrated form of healthy dietary fiber. All raw cacao products contain the unique alkaloid chemicals theobromine, phenylethylamine and anandamine that help you feel HAPPY.”

 Not only is it healthy, but it is a tasty addition to any smoothie!


Chocolate Covered Strawberry Smoothie


  • 10 oz. Canned Sprouts Organic Coconut Milk
  • 1/2 Frozen Banana (slightly thawed)
  • 2 Tbs Navitas Cacao Powder
  • 1/2 Scoop Chocolate Flavored Protein Powder
  • 1 Cup Organic Baby Kale
  • 1 Cup Frozen Strawberries


Put all Ingredients into your favorite blender/blend.  Mine is my Blendtec.  I just pressed the smoothie button.


Enjoy, Happy Valentine’s Day!